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“dive, dive and dive some more” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Reef House Resort

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Reef House Resort
Oak Ridge Cay, Honduras   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 41 hotels in Roatan
Blue Mound Il
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“dive, dive and dive some more”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This was my second two week stay at the Reef House. It's a dive resort. Don't expect a five star hotel, but good rooms, great food and super folks. Best value for a complete diving experience. I went there to dive and diving I did. Three dives a day off the boat with plenty to see. And then all the shore diving your computer will allow. David, the dive master, is terrific a spotting the minute details you can easily miss. Davey and the other David, who run the resort and cook on the side, my made land stay relaxing, tasty and fun. Yes, that's three Davids so the pressure is off to remember names of the important people. I was there with my dive buddy and two couples the first week and then a group of guys from North Dakota, a couple of doctors and another couple. We had a ball. Lots of photographers in the group so we had slide shows nightly of the days work. I'm already planning my next years return trip. Hats off to a great time...

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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183 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
Mission Viejo
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

6 of us (3 Couples) and 4 other guests were at the Reef House Oct 13 - 20. Without exception we had a great time. The Diving, the food, the other guests, and the staff were all absolutely great. We knew from others reviews that this is not a 5 star resort, and so our expectations were realistic. Having said that however I would not change a thing. We really enjoyed the "being away from it all" and really never felt like we were doing without anything. Dave, Davey, David, Daveet, Choco, Jennie and Ruth were all friendly and a lot of fun. The rooms were clean and comfy, was able to have a hot shower and the A/C worked, so what else do you need? I really would not call this 'roughing it' at all. Give em a try, if you have the right expectations and right attitude this place is really a blast.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

Diving is absolutely great, dive master and captain are very-very good. Dive boat in a very good shape with enough space for 10-12 people. This is for the sea part. On the on the hand; on the land I found things to be, how should I say lack of personality and in some instances service. We did not feel welcomed. What can be a personality issue on my side, however I want to say just don’t expect much. Grounds over all tiny and there is no place to go. And if you want to relax on the chaise long next to the bar, it is hard if there are people at the bar and especially when somebody is smoking. Entrance to the “pool” is barely safe as the last step is over two feet high, which make exit difficult, same with the step at the end of the pier. Gardener finally cleans the derby thrown be the sea by 9 in the morning so most of it you enjoy nice view of cans and leaves. The food is OK but mostly fried, salad may be once a week, fruit we had to nag for. Room is clean and hot water is ok. In conclusion, I will go back to the east side to dive, will not go back to Reef House.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roscoe, Illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We just returned from home after spending a week at Reef House Resort. The diving is really great. The dive master Da-vid is the best. Each one of our dives was full of things to see. There really is little to do except dive and relax. The staff was efficient and rooms were clean. The food was very good. The rooms are modest with 2 beds, ceiling fan, air conditioner, TV, WiFi and private bathroom. The only downside is the No-See-Ums. This is to be expected anywhere in the Caribbean this time of year. So...If you want a new challenge and plenty of great diving," off the beaten path" you should consider Reef House.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Short version - Great breakfast at 8. On the dive boat by 9 for 2 morning dives. Back at the Reef House around noon for excellent lunch. Lounge. Back on the dive boat at 2:22 for another afternoon dive. Back at the Reef House by 4:30. (dives are for as long as 60 minutes) Lounge until it's time for an excellent dinner at 7:00. Lounge until bed time. Wake up the next day and repeat. If this sounds like your ideal trip, this is your place. It is in the center of the island, on the south shore. There is less tourism on this side of the island and the reef is in excellent shape. I didn't dive the west end, so can't really compare them though.

7 Things you need to know;
1) There are no shops, restaurants, or anything else to see or do in the village of Oak Ridge where the Reef House is. In fact, the resort is on a small island just off the main island and is accessible only by boat. It's all about diving, relaxing. (or snorkeling if you don't dive) Snorkelers seemed welcome on the dive boat. There is also excellent diving/snorkling right off the dock at the Reef House.
2) Meals at the Reef House are a community affair. Everyone sits at a big table in the dinning room. You don't order, you eat what ever the wonderful cook has decided to make for you.
Even if you are supper picky about food, like my son, this is probably NOT a problem. Even he would tell you that it's all very good. If you tell them before hand of any allergies or dietary needs they are more than happy to accommodate if at all possible.
3) The Reef House is more of a Bed and Breakfast place. Not necessarily what some people think of when you say "Resort".
4) This one goes for the entire Island of Roatan, not just the Reef House. No paper goes in the toilets. none. It all goes in the frequently emptied trash can. I mean even at the airport.
5)This is also for the entire island, double for any stretch of beach, wear bug spray AT ALL TIMES. They have no-see-ums aka; sand flies. Look for something with a 15% solution of Picaridin. It works much better than Deet, and unlike Deet, it doesn't brake down rubber or silicon (your gear)
6) Don't worry about changing your money. (if your from the US anyway) Every place takes dollars or Lampieras. (20lp to a dollar when we where there in early August)
7) The power will go out randomly. Apparently the local power company can't reroute power so if they need to work on something they just shut down power. It was never off for more than an hour when we were there.

Longer version

Diving
Like so many of the reviews say, this place is about 2 things, diving and relaxing. We did 14 dives in 5 days. We missed 1 dive due to a hurricane, but we did the 2 morning dives in the storm. The dive master said "if there is no lighting, we can dive." Each dive has it's own unique flavor. Yeah they were all wall dives, but no 2 spots were quite the same. The dive master, David (Da-Veed), was instrumental in making this an amazing trip. Beyond being extremely nice and funny, as well as very serious and professional about dive safety, He was exceptionally good at finding hard to see life to share with the rest of our dive group. During our stay the dive groups ranged from 3 people to 8 people. But they do have 2 dive boats so can accommodate more people. I saw dive boats on the West End side of the island completely loaded up with people. No idea how THAT works well.

Equipment
We rented BCDs, wet suites, regs, and computers from the Reef House. Other than a small rip in the color of my 3/4 wet suite everything seemed to be in good shape and well taken care of. There were the inevitable mechanical (o-ring) issues while out on the boat, but they would swap you out with a spare rig and Choco, the boat captain, would repair the unit in question while you were diving.

Eating
The food is fantastic. Never had anything (at the Reef House) that wasn't at least "really good". The Conch burger lunch was one of my favorites. Lobster and steak night was certainly a big hit as well. As mentioned earlier, it is "family style" dinning. The bar was a self server honor system. You start an index card with your name and room number and just right down everything you drink. The locally brewed beers aren't bad. Regarding food on the rest of the island; i had a burger in the little town of West End that i'm pretty sure was horse meat. It was far and away the nastiest "beef" I've ever eaten. Stick with seafood and your good to go, as my much wiser son did.

Staff
Peggy, the owner, David (not the dive master) and Davey were super nice. It felt more like they were having you as a guest at there house rather than place of business. You socilaize with them as much as with the other guests. They seem to be willing to do what ever they can to make your trip everything you want it to be. If it's available on the island but they don't have it, they will do everything within reason to get it for you. One day they brought in 2 masseuses.

The accommodations
The rooms are small but not cramped. The beds were wonderfully comfortable. Our room had 2 full/queen pillow top beds. The floors appeared to be made of some high reason hard wood and were quite attractive. There is no central AC, but there is a very effective window unit. Combined with the ceiling fan this made it perfectly comfortable for sleeping, and i like to sleep in cold rooms. The restrooms... well, this is a tropical environment so the salt in the air combined with the constant humidity in a rest room is just a harsh environment. What I'm saying here is that you wont be disappointed that there's no tub to relax in, but they are by no stretch unsanitary. The shower drains onto the ground below the elevated building.

The common areas.
There is no beach at the Reef House. There is no fresh water pool. There is a salt water basin that is in effect a giant tidal pool. Lots of life in it. There are plenty of comfy chairs to kick back and read your book in all along the water front and on the deck. There are some picnic tables in a covered area that opens into the bar. They are a great place to sit at with your laptop and unload and review the hundreds of photos you took on that days dives.

Internet & TV.
They do have WiFi. It is best used in the dining/game area, and the bar/deck area. It did reach our room but was pretty weak. Also, it is a satellite connection, so when it works it works well. But any bad weather will take it off the air. This happened fairly frequently while we were there. Again, I have the impression that the entire island gets it's internet and TV from satellite, so this is not unique to the Reef House. The do have flat panel TV's in each room. We turned ours on once.... for 5 minuets.

Conclusion
If you want to get as much under water time as possible in what is possibly the best diving area in the Caribbean, you enjoy meeting other divers from all over the world, and you get excited at the thought of wonderful home cooked meals, then you wont be disappointed in the Reef House.

If you want a classic American style hotel, don't enjoy meeting new interesting people,don't make friends easily, or aren't interested in a super low key relaxing atmosphere, then you should look elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseland, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

If diving is your objective, then the Reef House Resort (RH) is the place for you.

Getting to the resort can be a bit circuitous. We flew from NY to Atlanta to Roatan - then a taxi ride of about an hour and then a short water taxi ride to the resort. Total travel time for our group, from door-to-door was about 12 hours.

The resort is basic - a room with AC and color TV and internet availability that works (most of the time). The room was comfortable and the cleaning staff did a great job in keeping the room well organized and clean. The food was really unbelievable - meals that were out of this world - fish and meat dishes and everything in between. I can't say enough about the food in RH - just terrific.

The diving was simply spectacular. The divemaster (David) was helpful, personable and expert in leading and interpreting the dives, and pointing out sights of interest as well. The walls in Roatan are spectacular, starting at depths of about 120 feet and rising to within 15 to 20 feet of the surface. Given the dead coral that you find in most dive sites in the Caribbean and Bahamas these days, I thought the reefs in Roatan were in pretty good shape, although we saw very few pelagics. The RH offers three dives per day with unlimited shore diving. The reef is about 200 feet from the shore of the resort, so shore diving is easy and accessible. We also did one night dive which, if you're in to night diving, was an interesting experience. We were diving in a group of 12 people total. At first I thought it might be a bit crowded, but the dives turned out to be manageable, even with 12 people diving.The dive boat, while pretty basic, was more than serviceable and adequate.

All in all, a really nice experience. Nice people, nice place, great diving.

Room Tip: All rooms are pretty much the same - no advantage from one to the other from what I could see.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Found this trip on sale through Roatan Charters and decided to go on 2 weeks notice.
After 40 min van ride and 10 minute boat to the Cay, a little concerned. You enter Reef House from the canal in the back. Not to worry. A short walk gets you on to the property and all is well.

Older resort and I must tell you that if you are looking for a 5 star resort you need to find a different island. I have stayed at a couple other resorts on Roatan and while some are not as dated, I would prefer RHR over the rest.

Clean, comfortable, cable tv, AC, ceiling fan, purified drinking water all a bonus.

Mike the manager was replaced our 2nd day there...apparently personal issues.

Dave and David are the new managers and from day one had started to make improvements as to quality and attentiveness to individual guest needs.

While the meals are all preset there is lots of it at every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Some things I don't eat but no need to worry about starving and they will cater to special dietary needs.

David also happens to be a chef and he seems to be giving input as to the menu. On our last night he prepared dinner consisting of Caesar salad, beef tri tip roast (which he asked the group at lunch how they liked their beef to be cooked), local caught grilled lobster tails with drawn butter and backed potato. Easily a $50 meal in the states.

Secured wireless internet is free and worked well wherever you were in the resort.

Night life is what you make of it. Honor bar stocked with beer, wine, sodas. Take what you want and mark it down and then settle at the end of your stay. Prices very reasonable for beverages.

Wonderful ocean views out front with a jetty making shore dives simple.

Dive crew was great. Davit and Choco made sure everyone had a good time. Davit was outstanding at finding things and pointing them out to the group. (He is also deadly with his spea rgun when going after lion fish) Allowed to pretty much follow your own computer profile and not overly concerned with experienced divers needing to stay in a "cluster"

Reefs look very healthy but not an abundance of fish.


Azule is the cat who seems to be in complete control of guest relations. Strolled into my room one evening and decided to spend the night. BE CAREFUL!!! Once she chooses you you belong to her.

I wish Davey and David the best of luck in their new endeavor. They are very enthusiastic about the RHR and are already making long term plans for improvements

I am hoping to return in the not too distant future.

Dave S

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Reef House Resort

Address: Oak Ridge Cay, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Roatan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Free Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at this Secluded Private Dive Lodge with unlimited Shore dives and 3 dives a day in one of the best spots to dive on earth! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef House Hotel Roatan
Reef Hotel Roatan
Reef Resort Roatan
Reef House Resort Roatan, Honduras - Bay Islands

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